Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Britain's Smelliest Cheese Championships

I have been looking at a campaign that was put together by a Dorset PR agency (Watershed PR and Marketing) for their client (The Royal Bath and West Show) and I’m trying to figure out what made the campaign ‘best practice’. Apparently the CIPR were ‘crackers’ for it.

Watershed organised ‘Britain’s Smelliest Cheese Championships’ which was to be held at The Royal Bath & West Show Ground in order to publicise the show. The agency cleverly drip-fed the media information, cheesy facts, and even sent some smelly cheese to local and national radio stations to get them on the air. They had to concentrate on short lead and online media because long-lead print titles were not available to them with the short amount of time they had.

In terms of measurable success, they exceeded their targets. Watershed was brought on board with The Royal Bath & West Show only three months before the agricultural event took place. They were allocated a budget of £5,000 and the main objective of getting visitors through the gates in spite of the recession. Not only did they manage to attract the second highest number of visitors to the show since 2004, they also managed to secure over 160 pieces of coverage in both national and regional media.

It’s hard to believe that such a successful campaign could be both created and executed within three months. Perhaps the fact that they had such a limited time scale meant that the campaign was more cohesive and driven.
In your experience, is it more or less effective to have shorter timescales for large-scale tasks?

Do you think the short amount of time Watershed PR had to create and execute the PR campaign might have affected the success of the outcome? In what way? Could they have been even more successful given more time?


  1. I think in some circumstances the effects of having limited time to complete a project means that you do perform better because the pressure and anxiety really forces you to use your initiative and think on your feet, producing interesting and creative ideas. However, I personally think when it comes to PR campaigns, the more time the better. Simply because having more time to plan and produce ideas helps to ensure that it is executed to a really high quality. But considering the time span they had, I think Watershed did a really good job at getting the most they could out of the campaign and implemented the best and most effective tactics they could, against the time constraints. Emma x

  2. I think that a short 'fat' if you will, campaign can be really effective as it can get the key message accross in fast and concise way. I think sometimes if a campaign is too long the messge might get lost along the way. I think this would especially apply when doing PR for an event as people may forget about it if you tell them too far in advance!

    I think that Watershed did a great job. I really dislike cheese but enjoyed listening about the campaign!

  3. I think a longer campaign is more successful. This gives you time to really establish the campaign with different uses of mediums. As long as it is well done though; as people may forget and it could loose its affect. Also, nowadays ways of communicating are always changing. With a longer campaign you can jump on these new ways of communicating to create a more successful campaign. Kristina x

  4. I agree with Emma's comment. Shorter timescales for large-scale tasks requires people to think straight and avoid distractions - making the decision-making process a lot quicker and more precise. When people have too much time on their hands to complete a task, group momentum and motivation to carry out the task to a high standard is often lost and poor results are inevitable. Shorter timescales produce time pressures, allowing the team to focus on the execution of a PR campaign. A greater focus usually results in a higher quality campaign.
    Watershed PR obviously adopted a healthy sense of anxiety to plan and execute the campaign, allowing them to focus their energy on achieving an excellent end result. A worthy winner in my opinion!

  5. I believe that campaigns are not about time, but about how good they are. Some planning can last years of development but if they lack of that "spark", their chances of being successful are low.
    I remember Catherine in one of the lectures commented on the "Help for Heroes" Campaign, wasn't it devised in 2 weeks. at hasn't became a nation major charity group?

    I guess campaigns based in design need more time for planning and deliver quality, but this is not the case for this campaign so everything was about getting the right places for the messages and most important finding the -right- message to be sent.

    So I think regardless of the time they had, they had a good campaign and that it was made it successful.

  6. I agree with emma, when she says that if you are under pressure you can perform better.I personally think it depends on the company and how well organised and prepared they are. some campaigns can drag on for too long in my opinion, which may result in employees becoming bored and un-motivated. Jennifer lebrument.

  7. I think working under pressure is a good way to be more effective and motivated, I know I work way more effectively under pressure and stress and are a lot of people.

    As Adalisa said, I don't really think the effectiveness of the campaign is about time but more about the strategy an agency/organization is using to put it in place. A campaign can have been thought through again and again and planned for a year with every little aspect sorted, in the end it might not be as effective as it was expected and might seem a bit boring when a short time scale campaign might not be perfect but more spontaneous and therefore more attractive.

  8. I work much better under pressure than when i have a lot of time. I'm not sure if it's a good thing for a campaign. This one was very successful so i guess it can work :)

    I totally agree with Marion's opinion. I think this campaign was about planning, good organisation, strategy as well as being spontaneous.

    I wish I could have been there to attend the event as I love cheeses and it definatelly sounded like fun :) I think this was an amazing idea and its brilliant delivery.